Cyclist of the Month: Jim Chorey

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, … It’s Everyday CyclistMan!

“An Impossible Mission: Saving the World Through Simple Choices” is the mission of TransitMan – my inspiration for this month’s Cyclist of the Month profile. Jim Chorey is “not a joiner;” he does not ride in bike events; he unashamedly does not remember the model of his Bianchi cross bike. Yet Jim’s everyday choices make him a cycling superstar.

Age: 61
Occupation: engineer for Seitel Leeds
Degree: Electrical Engineering, University of Toledo
Hometown: Spokane
Residence: Lake Forest Park
Commute: 2 – 4 days per week: 28 miles round trip to Queen Anne
Bike: Bianchi cross bike

Why did you start riding?
My wife, Kathy, bikes to work daily. Last summer, I just got on my bike. I quickly lost twenty pounds and just kept riding. I estimate I rode 2,000 miles last year.

Riding is good for my health and I avoid rush hour traffic. It might take twenty minutes longer, but it’s much more relaxing. I think and can come down from a hard day.

Plus, this country needs to become energy dependent; biking is a great way to save the environment.

I hear Peter Seitel, the CEO of Seitel Systems, nominated you because he was impressed with your recreational engineering pursuits?
Yes. I found some instructions searching the web for ‘build your own bike light.’ Then I found a 12-volt lead-acid battery and built my own custom 20-watt light in a PVC container. It cost me less than $40 with a 20-watt halogen bulb for $6, a connector for $6.00, some plumbing parts and a $1.00 switch. Being an electrical engineer, I built my own battery charger for under $20.

Tell us about your commute.
I’m a fair-weather commuter. In the summer, I try to bike to work three to four days per week; in the winter, sometimes I ride only once or twice per week. About 10% of our employees bike to work. In better weather months, our group will ride together after work a couple times each week.

There’s Gatorade for employees, and flextime makes it easier to coordinate riding in. Once a year, Peter hires the Bicycle Doctor to come in and perform free maintenance for employees and their families. We pay only for the parts needed.

Ed note: Kenny Hamm is The Bicycle Doctor, a mobile bicycle repair and maintenance service. Kenny has served the Seattle area for 17 years. Corporate accounts can hire Kenny for onsite maintenance and repair for $70 per hour. Contact Kenny@bicycledoctor.com or 206-789-7336. www.bicycledoctor.com.

What are some of your favorite rides?
I enjoy riding around Yakima Wine Country; outside of Yakima, Zillah has a number of great wineries and good maps are available for self-guided tours. I also enjoy riding along the Burke-Gilman Trail, and around Padilla Bay and the San Juan Islands.

The Golden Goose trail from Victoria out to the Potholes Provincial Park is another great ride. It’s about 55 kilometers over an old mining railroad grade to a primitive campground. Also, the Iron Horse trial out of Cle Elum towards Ellensburg is a nice half day ride with camping spots or picnic/lunch stops along the river.

Lately, I’ve thought of riding the [Group Health] Seattle To Portland.

Do you have any favorite bike accessories?
I like my computer because I can set mileage goals and challenge myself. I’m also fond of any products that prevent tire punctures.

Christian French received CityArtist funding for Super Heroism – The Adventures of Transit Man, photographic and comic narrative illustrations about the character Transit Man. You can witness the adventures of Sound Transit’s unofficial superhero just around the corner from Bikestation Seattle at:
SOIL Tashiro Kaplan Building, 112 3rd Ave. S., (206-264-8061) until Sunday, June 3.
For more information, visit: www.soilart.org or www.transitman.org.

Send comments and nominations for cyclist of the month to: scott@marlowfive-0.com